Muscat – Oman has evacuated its citizens from strife-torn Sudan in a Saudi Arabian ship that reached Jeddah on Wednesday.
Mass evacuation of foreign civilians from Sudan continued on Wednesday – the second day of a ceasefire agreed between the country’s warring military factions.
The latest US-brokered ceasefire in Sudan has allowed several countries to evacuate their nationals.
A statement issued by the Omani consulate in Jeddah said, ‘Deputy Consul General Saif al Amri and First Secretary Awad Raafit received some Omani families and Sudanese residents of the sultanate, who arrived in Jeddah after they were evacuated from Sudan.’
According to the Saudi foreign ministry, a ship carrying nearly 1,700 civilians from more than 50 countries fleeing violence in Sudan docked in Jeddah, as part of the largest evacuation effort by the kingdom so far.
The evacuees were ‘transported by one of Saudi Arabia’s ships, and the kingdom was keen to provide all the basic needs of foreign nationals in preparation for their departure’, the ministry said in a statement.
The conflict – which began on April 15 – arose from a bitter power struggle between the leaders of Sudan’s regular army and a rival paramilitary group, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
A French chartered flight arrived in Paris Charles-de-Gaulle airport on Wednesday morning with 245 people aboard.
Britain said on Wednesday it had evacuated between 200 to 300 citizens as part of an ‘extensive operation’.
Germany said it had ended its evacuation operations, with over 700 people flown out of the country.
The latest 72-hour ceasefire began at midnight on Monday and, while fragile, appeared to be holding. Volker Perthes, the UN special envoy to Sudan, said the ceasefire is still being observed in some parts of the country.
But witnesses late on Tuesday reported gunfire and explosions in Khartoum and the nearby town of Omdurman.
“The pause was not fully upheld, with attacks on headquarters, attempts to gain ground, air strikes, and explosions in different areas of the capital,” Perthes told the Security Council.
“There is yet no unequivocal sign that either is ready to seriously negotiate, suggesting that both think that securing a military victory over the other is possible.”
Security fears were compounded when the World Health Organization warned on Tuesday of a ‘huge biological risk’ after fighters occupied a Khartoum laboratory holding samples of cholera, measles, polio and other infectious diseases.